CHELTENHAM - NOVEMBER 17
Last year’s corresponding toteplacepot dividend:
2016: £208.30 (7 favourites - 1 winner - 2 placed - 4 unplaced)
Friday's Placepot permutation at Cheltenham:
Leg 1 (12.40): 5 (What A Moment), 7 (What Happens Now) & 11 (Indian Castle)
Leg 2 (1.15): 4 (Counter Shy), 13 (Magic Dancer), 6 (Or De Vassy) & 16 (War On The Rocks)
Leg 3 (1.50): 4 (Doitforthevillage), 5 (Exitas) & 3 (Festive Affair)
Leg 4 (2.25): 3 (Movewiththetimes), 1 (Finian’s Oscar) & 4 (William Henry)
Leg 5 (3.00): 3 (Auvergnat) & 2 (Cantlow)
Leg 6 (3.35): 4 (On The Blind Side) & 3 (Calett Mad)
Suggested stake: 432 bets to 10p stakes
Leading trainers at this meeting during the last six years:
Before you take ANYTHING else into account, one stunning fact emerges during a six year study of the Open meeting.
Just three trainers have contributed 48/112 winners, which equates to 42.8% of the entire set of gold medallists. If you add the fourth trainer into the mix, the percentage rises to 50.0%, exactly half of the total number of winners!
The relevant leading trainers are as follows:
17 winners—Paul Nicholls (3 on Friday – 8 on Saturday – 6 on Sunday)
17 winners—David Pipe (6-5-6)
14 winners—Philip Hobbs (4-5-5)
8 winners—Nicky Henderson (2-1-5)
12.40: Thirteen of the last fourteen winners have carried weights of 11-4 or less, with Regal Flow expected to lead home the relevant runners. This might prove to be a stronger renewal than usual however, with last year’s winner WHAT A MOMENT attempting to become David Pipe’s fourth winner in the race in the last seven years. This is one of the few ‘prestige’ races for amateur pilots that Derek O’Connor has failed to win, though the popular jockey has definite claims aboard WHAT HAPPENS NOW this time around. INDIAN CASTLE has a half decent chance of rounding off a fine week for Ian Williams, with the nine-year-old being marginally preferred to Regal Flow on this occasion.
Favourite factor: Two clear market leaders and a couple of joint favourites have won in the last 20 years, whilst 13 of the 26 jollies have finished in the frame. Seven of the last 18 winners have been returned in double figures.
Record of the course winners in the opening event:
1/1—Solstice Son (good)
1/2—What A Moment (good)
1/1—What Happens Now (good)
2/11—Lamb Or Cod (good)
1/7—Indian Castle (heavy)
1/4—Regal Flow (good)
1.15: Four-year-olds have won five of the last eight renewals with vintage representative being 3/1 to extend the advantage before form is taken into consideration via just four declarations. COUNTER SHY stands out from that small crowd, whilst MAGIC DANCER is the one for money on the exchanges in the dead of night. Kerry Lee (three winners of late) has wasted no time in running her five-year-old after winning at Kempton on Monday but if turning up here in the same form, Kerry’s Norse Dancer gelding should figure prominently. Others to consider include OR DE VASSY and WAR ON THE ROCKS who represents Fergal O’Brien who often sneaks under the radar, having proved to be the underrated trainer at Prestbury Park in recent times.
Favourite factor: Although five favourites have obliged during the study period, only one of the last ten market leaders has prevailed. Nine of the fifteen favourites have snared toteplacepot positions
1.50: Eight-year-olds have won five of the last six contests, whilst the last five winners have carried a maximum burden of 10-13. DOITFORTHEVILLAGE is the only eight-year-old in the field, whilst FESTIVE AFFAIR could outrun his odds via the weight trend. That all said, EXITAS represents the bang in form trainer Phil Middleton (7/19) who had produced 43 points of level stake during the relevant period. Exitas finished well clear of Festive Affair in a recent event but the latter named Jonjo O’Neill raider will be race fit this time around whereby the differential in odds suggests that an each way play on Festive Affair could be the way to play the race.
Favourite factor: Only three favourites have obliged during the study period, albeit that 13 of the other 17 scorers were sent off in single SP figures without being returned as market leaders. Eight favourites have secured toteplacepot positions during the study period.
Record of the course winners in the third race on the card:
1/5—Mick Thonis (good)
1/6—Un Beau Roman (good)
2.25: It took a seven-year-old horse of the calibre of More Of That (two years back) to end a run of six-year-olds who claimed the previous nine renewals of this event. The race reverted to type twelve months ago and there must be a chance that Paul Nicholls can extend the run of vintage representatives with MOVEWITHTHETIMES, who interestingly is Paul’s only runner on the opening day of the meeting. Unless my eyes deceived me, FINIAN’S OSCAR was put in at 8/13 by the trade press yesterday afternoon but the lads/lasses in the office have seen the error of their ways by offering the Tizzard representative at 10/11 now. Most unusually I am going to suggest you have a saver on the rank outside Coo Star Sivola if your permutation is still live going into this race, suggesting that WILLIAM HENRY is a more logical from a win perspective. That said, Nick Williams (Coo Star Sivola) has pulled quite a few rabbits out of hats with ‘no hopers’ down the years.
Favourite factor: Six market leaders have prevailed during the last fifteen years.
Record of the course winners in the fourth race:
1/5—Coo Star Sivola (good)
1/3—William Henry (good)
3.00: Regular readers will know that I am not transfixed by this event, as opposed (seemingly) to media types who love to hype up anything ‘new’. I guess it is a spectacle which at least gets people out of their ‘boxes’ and onto the centre of the racecourse to watch the sport on offer, or shall we tell the truth that only true racegoers set foot out there in the real world! I just think it would have made a fine finale on the Friday of the meeting, a seventh race away from Placepot aspirations but then again, that’s just my viewpoint. Upwards and onwards by informing that Enda Bolger has won six of the last twelve contests, whereby the Placepot chances (at the very least) for AUVERGNAT and three time course winner CANTLOW are there for all to see. Philip Hobbs is one of the few English trainers to have won the race (three times) whereby BERTIE BORU can be expected to figure prominently, especially as Philip has his team in great form, offering a recent ratio of 8/23, stats which have produced 53 points of level stake profits.
Favourite factor: Favourites have won nine of the twenty renewals to date, whilst eighteen gold medallists have scored at a top price of 10/1 down the years.
Record of the course winners in the Cross Country event:
3/7—Cause Of Causes (2 x good & good to soft)
1/9—Cantlow (good to firm)
1/1—Urgent De Gregaine (good to soft)
3.35: Five-year-olds have won nine of the last eleven renewals of this Grade 2 novice hurdle event, with vintage representatives at 1/2 to extend the trend before the form book is consulted via four relevant raiders. I’m a little hesitant to oppose Poetic Rhythm from Fergal O’Brien’s yard but I will adhere to my self-confessed anorak tendencies by stick with the two of the five-year-olds in the field, namely ON THE BLIND SIDE and course winner CALLET MAD.
Favourite factor: Four clear market leaders and one co favourite (of three) have won during the study period, whilst 15 of the 23 jollies reached the frame.
Record of the course winners in the Placepot finale:
1/5—Poetic Rhythm (soft)
1/2—Calett Mad (good)
Trainers with their relevant number of runners (two or more) on the Cheltenham card on Friday followed their Cheltenham stats this season + profits/losses accrued:
5 runners—Colin Tizzard (1/9 – loss of 6 points)
5—Jonjo O’Neill (0/4)
3—Nicky Henderson (1/6 – loss of 2 points)
3—Fergal O’Brien (2/7 +4)
3—Ian Williams (0/4)
2—Enda Bolger (No previous runners)
2—Emannuel Clayeux (No previous runners)
2—Gordon Elliott (0/5)
2—Paul Henderson (0/2)
2—Philip Hobbs (0/4)
2—Sophie Leech (0/7)
2—Donald McCain (1/1 +8)
2—Dan Skelton (1/9 – loss of 4 points)
2—Nigel Twiston-Davies (3/11 +7)
2—Nick Williams (No previous runners)
+ 25 different trainers who each saddle just one runner on the card
64 declared runners
General overview - Corresponding Placepot dividends from last year:
Newcastle (NH): £21.40 – 7 favourites – 2 winners – 3 placed – 3 unplaced
Lingfield (A/W) : £119.00 – 7 favourites – 4 winners – 1 placed – 2 unplaced
Chelmsford: This Is a new fixture on the racing calendar